Season-ticket holders mull 'weird' schedule

Richard Ryman
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Neenah resident Will De Bruin throws while playing bags with John Schumacher as they tailgate outside of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.

GREEN BAY – Green Bay Packers season-ticket holders are scratching their heads over the 2016 schedule.

"It's just a weird schedule in general," Shaun Meulemans of Germantown said.

Fans commenting at #Packers on Twitter had similar reactions, calling the schedule crazy and goofy.

Interesting road awaits Packers in 2016

The Packers will be away from Lambeau Field for a month from Aug. 18 until Sept. 25. They will play five of their eight home games during a seven-week period, with the bye in Week 4, then go on the road for three weeks. One of the Gold Package games will be at 7:30 p.m. on a Sunday and the other at 3:25 p.m. on a Sunday. The final four games will be against the Seattle Seahawks and each of their three NFC North opponents.

"Having four home games in a row is really odd," said Jay Bushmaker, who lives in Apple Valley, Minn. His family has Green Package tickets.

"The three road games in a row is odd, but it happens here and there. With five home games in the first eight games, that gives us the opportunity to start fast. Also, with three home games in December, it gives us the opportunity to take advantage of the Lambeau weather."

Tom Rozum of Batavia, Ill., just bought a weekend house in Green Bay. Looking at the five late-afternoon and night games scheduled for Lambeau Field, he's glad he did. He has Green Package tickets and his brother-in-law, who lives in Milwaukee, has Gold. He's thinking he might be able to trade a place to stay for the chance to go to those games, too.

"All the home games in a row, including the bye, don't know how I feel about that," Rozum said. "The last four games will truly mean something."

PACKERS 2016 SCHEDULEHow we're picking it

Packers right for Vikings' home opener

Las Vegas resident Tyler Smith has Gold Package tickets. Smith said he probably will sell the Giants game because he has friends who are New York fans and never have been to Lambeau Field. He's disappointed the other Gold game isn't a division matchup.

"I thought for sure I'd get the Bears game," Smith said. "Most years Gold Package gets a home divisional game. The Bears were next in line, as last year was the Lions and the year before was the Vikings."

Scott Schwartz, of Pulaski, Wis., and Justin Sipla, of Iowa City, sing "Tim, the Die-Hard Packer Fan" from their tailgate before the Green Bay Packers' game against the St. Louis Rams.

The Green Bay Packers host the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

He admits Indianapolis has its attractions.

"(Aaron) Rodgers vs. (Andrew) Luck. Need I say more?" he said.

Bushmaker is less than impressed with the Giants as part of the Gold Package, but also looks forward to the Colts at Lambeau.

"Since the Colts only play in Green Bay every eight years, this is a rare, possibly only, chance to see Luck versus Rodgers at Lambeau," he said.

Season-ticket holders often sell some of their games to help pay for the rest. Green Package holder William Kuhn of De Pere probably will sell the Minnesota and Dallas games to family members. He definitely will hang on to Chicago and Houston. He's not happy about the season starting in Jacksonville and having three consecutive road games.

"It's an easier schedule overall, but three straight road games are hard," he said.

Mark Fahey of Portage, who owns both Green and Gold tickets, said the consecutive road games remind him of 1996, only it happened twice that season.

Green Bay Packers' 2016 schedule

The Meulemans probably will sell some tickets, too. Shaun lives in Germantown and his parents in Oshkosh, and they don't like driving and getting home late after night games.

"I am disappointed the Texans game is in December," he said. "My 6-year-old twin boys are excited to see J.J. Watt, but I'm not sure how they'll do in a December game. It'll probably depend on the weather."

Regardless of the schedule, Packers fans are reliably optimistic. Fahey is no exception.

"It is going to be fun to welcome back a 2-0 team for four straight home games, plus tailgating in good weather, to start the season 6-0," he said.

Contact and follow him on Twitter @RichRymanPG, onInstagram at rrymanpgor on Facebook at Richard Ryman-Press-Gazette. Or call him at (920) 431-8342.

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